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Swiss government rejects plea to back Swiss cantons in pensions dispute

first_imgThe Swiss government has re-affirmed its intention to draft legislation that would back the position of the federal supervisory authority for occupational pensions in a dispute with cantons over the governance of regional supervisory authorities.The federal council laid out its plan earlier this month in response to a request from a member of parliament, Daniel Fässler, a member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party.Fässler called on the government to clarify what responsibilities the law grants the federal supervisory authority for occupational pensions – the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK), or Commission de haute surveillance (CHS).The backdrop to this is a dispute over whether the Swiss cantons should be allowed to have representatives from their governments on the boards of regional supervisory authorities, as is currently the case. The cantons are defending this organisation, arguing that it has never posed a problem and that they comply with the law.The OAK is against this practice, saying it is incompatible with the legal requirement that supervisory authorities be independent.“The OAK has communicated this viewpoint to the supervisory authorities several times, but they are sticking with their organisation,” an OAK spokesman told IPE.“That is why the federal council will, by the end of this year, consult on draft legislation that will include a proposal to strengthen the independence of the occupational pension supervisory authorities.” In its response to the request from the member of parliament, the federal council said it was well aware of the discussions around the independence of the cantonal and regional supervisory bodies and that it previously found this could be impeded if cantonal government officials were members of these bodies.Conflicts of interest are more likely to arise in relation to supervision of public sector pension providers, it added.“The federal council,” it said, “will therefore by the end of this year consult on a bill that, in addition to a draft law to modernise first-pillar supervision, will include a proposal to strengthen the independence of the occupational pension supervisory authorities.” The statement confirmed the government’s previously announced plans and the related timetable – it has commissioned the interior ministry to draw up a reform plan and gave it until the end of this year to come up with its proposal.Dominique Favre, director at As-So, the supervisory authority for western Switzerland, told IPE the cantons were “angry” about the government’s plan to change the law, which they see as a step towards centralisation.“If you want the cantons to no longer have a say, then you need a centralised system, like FINMA, and everything would have to be done in Bern, and the federal administration would manage occupational pension provision,” he said.“But, if they wanted a regional system, it’s normal that the local, regional or cantonal authorities would participate. It’s a fight against the centralisation of supervision.”FINMA is the Swiss financial markets supervisory authority; in contrast to occupational pensions, the supervision of banks and insurers is centralised at the federal level.  The dispute between the OAK and the cantons has its origins in a 2012 reform of the Swiss supervisory system for occupational pensions, which led to the creation of the OAK and also provided for the merger of the mostly cantonal supervisory authorities to form regional supervisory bodies.The consolidation had been underway before this, however.Today, there are three regional occupational pension supervisors in Switzerland, for the west, central and the east.Some cantons have continued to organise supervision on a cantonal level, eschewing regional co-operation.The three regional bodies have boards that comprise representatives from the cantonal governments.The board of As-So, the supervisory authority for western Switzerland, for example, is made up of one representative from each of the four cantons it covers: Waadt (Vaud), Wallis (Valais), Neuenburg (Neuchâtel) and Jura.Fässler, whose request the federal council rejected earlier this month, is in the cantonal government of Appenzell Innerrhoden and is the vice-president of the board of the supervisory authority for eastern Switzerland – precisely the type of situation the OAK is against.The OAK has no legal right to influence the composition of a supervisory authority’s board, its spokesman told IPE.last_img read more

How Magic Johnson reportedly torpedoed the Lakers’ shot at landing Kawhi Leonard

first_imgLeonard and his camp had asked the teams he was considering — reportedly the Lakers and Raptors, and to a lesser extent the Clippers and Knicks — to avoid letting any information about the process make its way to the media. When Johnson, who in April had abruptly resigned as Lakers president of basketball operations, told ESPN in late June that Leonard had asked to meet with him, despite Leonard’s request for privacy. Related News Magic Johnson’s inability to keep secret that Kawhi Leonard had requested to meet with him may have been the beginning of the end of the Lakers’ chances of signing the free agent, a fate that was sealed after information leaked about the topics discussed in that meeting, according to The Athletic. In a deep dive into Leonard’s largely private free agent process — under the headline “‘We have a deal ready. Are you in?’ Inside the Clippers’ pursuit of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George” — The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick report that Johnson’s actions created trust issues. Kawhi Leonard officially signs with Clippers, but reportedly opts for 3-year deal Jerry West explains how Clippers landed Kawhi Leonard, Paul George The machinations of Leonard’s landing with the Clippers are symptomatic of issues the NBA reportedly is investigating surrounding this summer’s free agent process.Meanwhile, Magic Johnson’s failure to keep under wraps his meeting with Leonard isn’t the only reason he won’t be playing for the other NBA team in Los Angeles, but it certainly was a factor.center_img That apparently created some concern for Leonard’s camp.The meeting was scheduled shortly after he was to meet with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and GM Rob Pelinka.Shortly after Johnson — who wasn’t in the Lakers’ official meetings with prospective free agents — met with Leonard and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, information leaked about the topics of their conversation, which “sealed the fate of the Lakers,” per The Athletic story.”I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and Dennis, that sealed the fate of the Lakers,” an unidentified person involved in the process told The Athletic. “I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided, ‘We can’t trust the Lakers as an organization.’ And that was it. I think that was it for them.”The LeBron James-Anthony Davis-Kawhi Leonard super team in LA wasn’t going to happen.With the Lakers eliminated from the pursuit, the Clippers were left needing to get another superstar to lure Leonard back to Southern California. Acquiring someone like, say, All-Star Paul George, Leonard’s camp had told the team, would be key. According to The Athletic, the Clippers checked in with the Wizards about Bradley Beal and the Rockets about James Harden but neither was available. (Leonard also reportedly reached out to Kevin Durant and also expressed an interest in pairing with Jimmy Butler, but Durant ended up with Kyrie Irving and the Nets and Butler was dealt to the Heat.)The Clippers ultimately acquired George from the Thunder in a blockbuster trade that Leonard had encouraged George to request. Leonard, the NBA Finals MVP, then shocked the NBA landscape by announcing in late night that he would sign with the Clippers. Paul George-to-Clippers official as Thunder GM drops subtle hint at tampering Lakers GM Rob Pelinka on missing out on Kawhi Leonard: ‘You just don’t look back’last_img read more